Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Genealogy, Archaeology, History, Heritage & Folklore

Moderators: Clare Support, Clare Past Mod

Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:14 am

Hi Sheila,

The meeting of Nationalist supporters of Father Lavelle was held in Dublin on 23rd of August 1864. The short thumbnail that you referenced was an entirely different event, the laying of the foundation stone for the O'Connell National Monument in Dublin on the 8th of August. Michael Considine, representing the Ennis Trades, was part of a large procession that "was one of the grandest and most magnificent demonstrations ever witnessed in the city." The Freeman's Journal had a four page spread of all the events, and included a paragraph on each of the various trades represented, below is the description of the Shoemakers, who Michael Considine rode with at the procession, as well as the complete paragraph for "Ennis Trades":
The banner displays in the centre goats head and boot. On one side King Crispin *. On the other Queen Crispiana * - surmounted by the crown and cross. Inscription - "Love and Friendship." The banner is elegantly finished, bordered with blue, white and green silk, and interspersed with ornamental wreaths. Deputation: Thomas Halpin . . .

Ennis Trades
Mr. Michael Considine (who wore a green uniform) represented the trades of Ennis, and had a seat in the shoemakers of the city. He carried a green banner, with the Irish harp. On the top of the banner was a Repeal cap.

The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 9 August 1864

* The FJ reporter appears to have been referring to Saint Crispin and Saint Crispinian, two brothers, and the patron saints of shoemakers:
In addition to the various trades, there were several Irish MP's, various city mayors, and about one hundred priests participated in the procession listed under "Clergy". Reported separately under "The Hierarchy" were The Most Rev. Dr. Cullen, Lord Archbishop of Dublin, and The Most Rev. Dr. Dixon, Lord Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, and 12 Bishops.

After the procession, laying of the foundation, and many speeches, in the evening there were separate events for the artisans and "the so called respectable people" (the term used at the Father Lavelle supporters meeting):

The trades of this city, being anxious to pay a compliment to the deputation from the provincial trades, invited them to a dejeuner in the theatre of the Mechanics' Institute. Five o'clock was the time named, but, owing to the lateness of the hour at which the ceremonial laying of the foundation stone concluded, the festivities did not commence until after six o'clock. The theatre was handsomely decorated for the occasion with evergreens and mirrors. Behind the place occupied by the chairman (Mr. Shanley, President of the Associated Trades) were a fine portrait of O'Connell, and underneath an inscription "Cead Mille Faiithe." In the gallery were several ladies. At the head table were Mr. P J Smyth, Irishman; Mr. Mulligan, . . . . Mr. Considine, Ennis, &c.

The trades' bands, those of the bakers of Bridge street, and of the silk weavers, were stationed in the gallery, where several ladies were accommodated with seats. The dejeuner was provided by Murray and Walshe, of Baggot street, and the liquors by Mr. Somers, of the Forrester's Arms, Marlborough Street.

. . . . [many speeches] . . . .

The chairman next called on Mr. Considine to respond on behalf of the trades of Ennis.

Mr. Considine, who was loudly cheered, said that men from Limerick, Clare, and Tipperary had come to Dublin to range themselves under the banner of Brian Boroimhe, and the men of these counties were glad today to be invited by the trades of Dublin. He never would rejoice in the victories of England as long as Ireland was down-trodden. He trusted there would be a union of Irishmen that would raise the country to independence. That was a great day. It told their enemies that they were not an ungrateful people - that they held in reverence the memory of O'Connell - and that they would no longer be made stepping stones by those who would deceive them (cheers). He was glad to see the ladies of Dublin present. It was the virtue of Irish women and the faith of their forefathers that had preserved Ireland in the past (cheers).
This event was in sharp contrast to the banquet held at the Rotunda which was attended by the elite of Dublin, visiting dignitaries, and a long list of priests and bishops (although not Archbishop Cullen):

In the evening the proceedings of the day were celebrated by a grand banquet in the Round Room of the Rotunda, which presented a really brilliant appearance. The spacious gallery which runs around the room were filled with ladies in full dress, and about five hundred gentlemen sat down to dinner. At the end of the room were displayed the late James Haverty's beautiful painting representing one of O'Connell's monster meetings at Clifden, and an allegorical picture of Erin. The room was tastefully decorated with evergreens, banners, &c, and Mr. Levy's string band was stationed in the orchestra, and, under the able direction of that gentleman, performed a varied programme of music during the evening. The dinner . . . was in every respect of the most excellent description. The attendance was prompt and efficient, and the organisation altogether satisfactory in all particulars. The wines . . . were of the most excellent quality, and elicited the unanimous approval of all present. They included a variety of champagne of the highest character - moselle, hock, claret, and really superior sherry and port.
The above descriptions of the two events that evening really show the great divide in Irish social class. But a perhaps even greater divide in politics was evident from the opening toasts at the banquet at the Rotunda. The Irish People described these toasts as "many loyal and ludicrous sentiments":
The Lord Mayor: The first toast upon my list is one which a company of Irish gentlemen always receives with enthusiasm, and with that loyalty for which Irishmen have been always remarkable. Her Majesty the Queen (applause), not only by her highly distinguished position, commands our affectionate loyalty, but appeals more directly to the hearts of Irishmen as wife, mother, and friend, and as woman in every sense of the word. These virtues which adorn the sex are pre-eminently the characteristic of the Queen, and hence it is the Queen is so affectionately considered in our country. I give you "The Health of the Queen" (applause).

The toast was duly honoured.

Air - "God Save the Queen," which was sung in excellent style by some members of the orchestra.

The Lord Mayor said the next toast was "The Prince and Princess of Wales." . . . .

The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 9 August 1864

Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:23 am

Hi Jim

I enjoyed reading those reports of the 8th August 1864 occasion in Dublin. Thank you very much – and thanks for correcting my mistake. Both the dejeuner in the Mechanics’ Institute and the banquet at the Round Room of the Rotunda sound quite splendid, but Michael Considine made the best speech (I’ve decided).

Kieran Sheedy’s account of the county elections and borough of Ennis elections (going right up to 1993) form only half of The Clare Elections. The other half of the book is given over to Poor Law Elections (1899-1898); County Council Elections (1899-1925); Rural District Council Elections (1899-1925); Ennis Town Commissioners and Urban Council Elections (1842-1993); Kilrush Town Commissioners and Urban Council Elections (1885-1993); Kilkee Town Commissioners Elections (1901—1993); Shannon Town Commissioners Elections (1982-1993) - and there are three appendices, the first of which gives a very useful summary of Parliamentary Election results for Co Clare.

I looked at the chapter on the Ennis Town Commissioners to see if there was any mention of Michael Considine and found none, but I found a mention of the speech made by Fr. Vaughan, in March 1859, at the laying of the foundation stone for the O’Connell monument, which accords with the report in the Freeman’s Journal, quoted by you on page 1 above (“The O Connell Testimonial, Ennis”). However it’s still not very clear what exactly caused Fr. Vaughan’s anger on that occasion. Kieran Sheedy writes,
a number of Town Commissioners attended the laying of the foundation stone of the O’Connell Monument but following a fiery speech made by Fr Vaughan P.P., Michael Molony protested on behalf of the Commissioners who left the platform. Fr. Vaughan in reply stated that all of the Town Commissioners “were raised up from a low station. They are earning the wages of corruption” but when Dr Dillon stated “I am one of the Commissioners and I deny it”, Fr Vaughan made an exception in his case and said that he was referring to Town Commissioners “who tried to gag him and prevent him from telling the truth…every man in frieze has as much value as a Town Commissioner.” (Ref. 9: Clare Journal, 13 March 1859). On Friday 18 March, a special meeting of the Town Commissioners was held to mark their disapproval of the proceeding at the laying of the foundation stone ...Michael Molony went to great pains to explain to the meeting why he and his fellow-commissioners left the platform. They had been given to believe that Francis M. Calcut would be the only speaker and they condemned the attack on the Borough and on J.D. Fitzgerald which had been made by Fr. Vaughan. (pp. 734-5)
There is no further mention of the monument and no mentions of funds going astray, which would have been interesting.

There’s this interesting mention of the Trades entertaining Stephen J. Meany in April 1869:
eight commissioners queried the propriety of giving the use of the “large Hall” to the Trades of Ennis to entertain Stephen J. Meany who had been released from prison. The Trades had already issued invitation cards and James Costello proposed that the granting of the hall be confirmed and he was seconded by John Meehan. (p. 737).

Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:54 am

Hi Sheila,

Michael Considine got himself into a bit of trouble by attending the meeting of Lavelle supporters at the Mechanics' Institute in Dublin of the 23rd of August 1864. Perhaps not so much due to his own speech, but just by his attendance at a meeting when others were so openly critical of Archbishop Cullen. The Limerick Reporter newspaper appears to have run a negative article criticizing Michael Considine. I don't have access to this newspaper, but below was Michael Considine's response which was copied by The Waterford News on 4 November 1864. In addition to his response, we obtain his full speech from the Mechanics' Institute meeting (the article posted previously from The Irish People was just a summarized version by the newspaper):


SIR- As I understand that parties here who never entertained an honest spark of nationality only where their own private interest was concerned, to support whiggery, when every low attempt failed to fasten on my character dishonesty, they have now made use of a low subterfuge of my attending a meeting of Father Lavelle's, to sympathise with him in his political and national sentiments as an Irishman and a patriot, which act I am not ashamed or afeard of. But I deny that the real object of the meeting was to offer any insult to religion, or the consecrated brow of any bishop or priest. There were men at that meeting - Catholics - who would sacrifice a thousand lives for that holy faith. I hope, in God's grace, to be one of them; and I ask, sir, how do I insult religion when I declare openly that I endorse the honest national opinions of Father Lavelle in his denunciation of British tyranny in Ireland, without, in the slightest manner, interfering with his ecclesiastical superiors? God forbid that ever there should be a union of Irishmen in this country that would have for its object to insult or injure the due authority of the Catholic church in all its spiritual teachings; but I say that we have a just right to our own political and national opinions for the regeneration of our down-trodden country, so long as those opinions do not injure faith or morals. But, sir, was not the Catholic church in every age the friend of true liberty? Was not Catholicity and nationality always one in Ireland, and why does base whiggery and corruption want now to separate them? Then, sir, in justice to my humble name, and character as a Catholic and an Irishman, I hope you will publish the following speech made by me at Father Lavelle's meeting of sympathy, which defies any party to show one wrong sentiment made use of by me. Public justice calls upon you, sir, to insert this. - Yours truly,

MICHAEL CONSIDINE, Secretary of Trades, Ennis

The following is Mr. Considine's speech at the Lavelle sympathy meeting:-

"Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen - The resolution I am to propose is one which will give the lie to some of our Whig Catholics, who, I know on to-morrow, will say that this meeting tonight is anti-Catholic. Our object is not to interfere with the Ecclesiastical superiors of Father Lavelle, and God forbid that we should enter the sanctuary to discuss faith with the ministers of God. We wish to sympathise and aid Father Lavelle as a patriot and nationalist, but not in opposition to the legitimate authority of the Church. He is not impugning any dogma of faith, his is not exercising his sacred functions in the spirit of disobedience, his moral character is pure, and if not I would be the first layman that would oppose him (cheers). We believe in the honest political creed taught by Dr. M'Hale and Father Lavelle, and regret that it had not been taught our forefathers two centuries ago instead of making them shed their blood to put such Saxon humbugs on the throne of Charles and James. Yes, if such an honest political creed was taught them the sacred altars would not be crumbled, our fathers butchered and sold as slaves, the noble virtues of Irish families basely insulted by a Saxon soldiery (cheers). Fellow-countrymen, the Catholic Church was always the friend of true liberty in every age. Look to Poland to-day. Do we not see the blood of the Bishops and Priests mingled with the people in the cause of freedom; look to the sacred hands of our sainted Pontiff raised to Heaven to bless their arms, and is not our cause the same as that of Poland? is England more merciful than Russia? (cries of no, no). We had in Ireland our St. Laurence O'Tooles, our Heber McMahons, our Albert O'Briens and Murphys in 98, and thank God if a struggle is forced again for liberty we have Priests in hundreds, although being silent, who will stand true to the people (cheers). Liberty is the child of oppression, and as Dr. Doyle said 'a silent slave soon becomes a beast of burden.' We don't want that an Irishman's honest religious convictions should deny them the right of coming to offer his sacrifice on the altar of Irish freedom, but whilst we wish to raise the old green flag from the dust, we never will give up the cross for which our fathers suffered and died (cheers)."

The Waterford News, Waterford, 4 November 1864
I reckon Michael Considine's above comment that "when every low attempt failed to fasten on my character dishonesty" refers to the Daniel O'Connell monument allegations of embezzlement and most likely when his accusers gave him the nickname "Dirty Mick". Such a nickname would certainly be a very low attempt to fasten dishonesty and corruption to his character. A nickname that his supporters would try to counter by always describing him as the honest and anti-corruptionist Michael Considine. And in 1880 when the arrogant Bernard Becker visited Ennis, his supporters would come up with a silly story of Michael Considine never washing because he was kissed on the cheek as a child by Daniel O'Connell.

Speaking of Irish folklore, I've been reading up on Irish leprechauns. The green suit worn by Michael Considine was not the only thing that he had in common with a leprechaun. By trade they were both shoemakers. Sheila, I suspect you, and everyone else in Ireland, were already aware of this fact, but I had no idea. Apparently in the Irish countryside you can even hear the tapping of a leprechaun's hammer as he drives a nail into a shoe. Here is W.B. Yeats in "Writings on Irish Folklore, Legend and Myth":
The Solitary Fairies


'The name Lepracaun,' Mr. Douglas Hyde writes to me, 'is from the Irish leith brog - i.e. the One-shoemaker, since he is generally seen working at a single shoe. It is spelt in Irish leith bhrogan, or leith phrogan, and is in some places pronounced Luchryman, as O'Kearney writes it in that very rare book, the Feis Tigh Chonain.

The Leprachaun makes shoes continually, and has grown very rich. Many treasure-crocks, buried of old in war-time, has he now for his own. In the early part of this century, according to Croker, in a newspaper office in Tipperary, they used to show a little shoe forgotten by a Lepracaun.

Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry, W.B. Yeats, 1888
The School's Collection as part of the National Folklore Collection (duchas.ie) has fourteen stories from County Clare associated with Leprechauns that were collected by schoolchildren in the 1930's. Many of these stories are about County Clare people trying to catch a leprechaun and steal his gold. Sheila, you will recall that Patrick O'Malley (Mealy), age 28, who lived two miles from Feakle, "found" a gold hoard in 1948, as posted in the newspaper clippings by Sharon here:

More stories of gold and leprechauns in County Clare here:
https://www.duchas.ie/en/src?q=leprecha ... tory&ct=CL

Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:12 am

Hi Jim

Thank you for the more complete version of that speech by Michael Considine.
As you know, I don’t agree with your theory as to the origin of the nick name. I think it’s quite possible that, when Daniel O’Connell was in Ennis, at the assizes, in 1815*, Michael Considine was held up by one of his parents to be kissed by O’Connell. Whether Michael Considine boasted about this in later life, and added jokingly that he had never washed his cheek, who can say?
*In Daniel O’Connell, by Fergus O’Ferrall (Gill and Macmillan, 1981), O’Ferrall refers to a letter written from Ennis in July 1815. His source is Vol. II of Fitzpatrick’s Correspondence of Daniel O’Connell, the Liberator – Vol. I is among the digital books available on clarelibrary.ie, but not Vol. II):
Another example [of his certainty that some of his clients would be hanged]: in July 1815 when O’Connell was in Clare, lamenting the fall of Napoleon, he was in the midst of ‘the bloodiest assizes ever known. No less that five persons capitally convicted, four of them clients of mine, one certainly innocent, but he will be hanged. God, God, how cruel, how wretchedly cruel’ (II, 562). (p. 18).

O’Connell was already a hero of the people at this time (1815), mainly because he defended people in a way they had never been defended before. Later, in 1828, when Michael Considine was aged about 15 and O’Connell was elected for Clare, he must have been greatly impressed by the celebrations. - for a description see ‘The Clare Election of 1828’ by Declan Barron and go to the last newspaper report: http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclar ... n_1828.htm

The following is from The life of Daniel O’Connell, by Michael MacDonagh (1903), available on clarelibrary.ie: http://www.archive.org/stream/lifeofdan ... 7/mode/2up
On the Monday following – the day O’Connell left Ennis – the old custom of chairing the successful candidate took place. Over 60,000 people took part in the demonstration. O’Connell, wearing the medal of the Order of Liberators suspended from a broad green ribbon, was seated high on a triumphal car, enwreathed in laurel, and bearing in gold letters his favourite quotation from Byron: -
Hereditary bondmen, know ye not,
Who would be free themselves must strike the blow? (p. 164)
This quotation from Byron is the one used by Michael Considine in February 1863 at the raising of the last stone of the column for the O’Connell monument. It was used also by Frederick Douglass in March 1863 (Douglass was an admirer of Daniel O’Connell and O’Connell was an admirer of Douglass. They met and shared a platform when Douglas when came to Ireland in 1845).
Another quote, which was often used by O’Connell, according to MacDonagh (p. 373), was Thomas Moore’s ‘Ireland, as she ought to be, great, glorious, and free, First flower of the earth, and first gem of the sea,’ and this quote was used by Considine in his speech at the meeting held to express sympathy with Fr. Lavelle in August 1864. Both Considine’s 1863 speech and his 1864 speech were contributed to this thread by Jimbo (see pages 2 and 3 above). I think that Michael Considine, as a young man, had followed the life of O'Connell very closely, and had read all the reports of him carried in the newspapers.


Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:19 am

Hi Shelia,

Yes, of course, it is entirely possible that Michael Considine was kissed as a young child on the cheek by Daniel O'Connell, and then also later given a green coat by Daniel O'Connell. Although a bit odd that Michael Considine, in his numerous speeches that spanned decades, never once mentioned either story. But, yes, entirely possible that the story told to Bernard Becker, on his visit to Ennis from London in 1880, was not a joke but a true story. I suppose it is also possible that the story told by Mrs. O'Callaghan of Rathluby Townland, Quin Parish as part of the School's Collection was also a true story:
Mrs. O'Callaghan says that on a Good Friday, when her family was very young she was visited by a very small man, who demanded some food. The little man was most unprepossessing, of grotesque features. He wore a green jacket, knee breeches, buckled shoes and a red cap. The little man procured a frying pan, and proceeded to cut slices off a piece of bacon which was suspended near the fire. These he fried and afterwards ate with relish, Mrs. O'Callaghan supplying him with tea, bread and butter.

The little man looked cold and miserable. . . . [see complete story here]:


Mrs. O'Callaghan returned home [after looking for the little man]. It was then it dawned on her what an uncommon thing it was to eat meat on Friday, and moreover Good Friday. . . .
I reckon Mrs. O'Callaghan might be hinting that she's telling a tall tale, because surely a leprechaun would not eat meat on Good Friday. But, on the other hand, I suppose it is quite possible that a leprechaun would eat meat on a Friday, and Mrs. O'Callaghan was indeed visited by a little man when her family was young, who can say?

Michael Considine, in his letter to the editor of the Limerick Reporter, gave a compelling argument for the separation of church and state, especially in politics. But as I have found on this thread, you'll never beat the Irish in an argument, no matter what evidence you provide, they'll come back again and fight until the end. Michael Considine should have known that his letter would just lead to another fight in the form of an even longer letter, this time from John Carroll of County Kilkenny:

SIR - Mr. M. Considine's letter in the Limerick Reporter of 14th, and his speech in that of the 18th inst., appeal to public opinion for his justification in the nasty meeting referred to. He signs himself "Secretary of the Trade," Ennis. If some of his acquaintances have tried to "fasten on his character dishonesty," merely on account of his politics, they were wrong; and if Mr. Considine, and all who think with him, are of opinion that it is right, prudent, and patriotic to "sympathise with Father Lavelle in his national sentiments," no one need blame, though all should pity them. Mr. Considine took a prominent place in the meeting of Nationalists in Dublin, on the 23rd August last, where the following resolution was proposed by Mr. M'Evatt :- "That the time has arrived to test the people of Ireland be sending forth their protest against Dr. Cullen's conduct for the last twelve years, in using his religious influence for political purposes, to intimidate Irish bishops and priests inclined to be national from this and other countries, from assisting in the regeneration of Ireland, and we hereby pledge ourselves to sustain Father Lavelle as one of his principal victims." This advocate for liberty called on the people to pay no dues to any priest or bishop "till those men came to the right side" (applause), of which side he makes himself the judge! Mr. M'Evatt continued - "They knew there were no men who would have the audacity to apologise for Dr. Cullen. He believed that Dr. Cullen came there as the traitor of the British Government (cheers)."

Mr. Considine, Secretary to the Trades, heard those words and yet we don't find that he is reported to have opposed them. But he says "there were men at that meeting - Catholics - who would sacrifice a thousand lives for the holy faith ! and I hope in God's grace to be one of them" !! They heard the archbishop denounced as a traitor; the charge was received with cheers for the speaker, and groans for the traitor prelate. Where was Mr. M. Considine then, the Catholic Secretary to the Trades? where was his patriotism and his faith for he would sacrifice a thousand lives? and yet after all the charge was false, - a lie! And still more the lie wore well, and passed current, as full value for twelve years, with the patriot would-be-martyrs who are ready to sacrifice a thousand lives, &c. How this lie came to be uttered, or how believed in Catholic Ireland is a mystery. It is a disgrace to the people that such profanity should be tolerated, and it is a melancholy proof of our degeneracy since the days of O'Connell. Mr. M'Evatt had asserted at the Father Lavelle sympathy meeting that "Dr. Cullen was the man that smashed up the league" (the tenant league). Now, that is another infamous lie, and I know it to be a lie, and I know who broke it up. The Most Rev. Dr. Cullen joined the league when he returned to Ireland, but he had to leave it, in disgust, at the insolence of some lay bullies who composed it. But if these lies have been industriously circulated against his grace, I am far from saying that those who spoke, or attended at the Father Lavelle meeting were liars - far from it, but it pains me to believe that they were the dupes of liars. These questions have been discussed with acrimony too often; neither party has made a proselyte; such disputes between men who of often entirely ignorant of the facts only end in bitterness. It is all a mere question of confidence, Christian charity, and common sense. Are we to place more confidence in the prudence and patriotism of the Pope's delegate than in Father Lavelle and the Fenians? Is it charity to condemn a distinguished prelate without a trial? Is it just; is it Irish? Is it safe before God to dare to judge him on the base insinuations of his enemies, for every good man has his foes? No. It is impious and degrading, and it must bring down the Divine vengeance on the heads of the culprits and all who rashly abet them. The apostolic delegate has been greatly admired for his meekness and patience in bearing those calumnies. But in fact he had little need to defend himself from the charge of having "smashed the league." Any man of common sense must see at a glance that it was not in his power to do so, even had he been so disposed; the truth being that the tenants of Ireland let their own league to die of inanition; and I myself, being a tenant farmer, left it also in utter contempt of their apathy. But if the league merely depended on Dr. Cullen's countenance it could not hope to work its ends through the British Parliament. In its dying hours the petulance and effrontery of some of its backers transformed the once powerful body into a wretched nuisance. "It is the voluntary slave that makes the oppressor; all people are governed as they deserve." The farmers of Ireland could have tenant-right if they had worked for it, and persevered like the free traders of England; but they did not. They are voluntary slaves, and lack the manhood of independence.

It would seem that our advanced nationalists have two peculiar modes of distinction: one is to talk sedition, or come into collision with the police by being caught at illegal drilling, and put in the lock-up; they thus become state prisoners and immortalise themselves! But such others as have the gift of the gab, or are handy at the pen create a deeper sensation by running down all other Catholics who won't condescend to join them. These men are firmly convinced that all those who differ from them are mean, paltry, and dishonest traitors to Ireland, and that they alone love their country and their faith. They despise moral force politicians as mere "brawlers and scribblers" and yet, here we find the lads brawling and scribbling against "all creation." Oh what a bright day it would be for Ireland and liberty (?) to have us all liberated from the control of priests and bishops by Yankees and Fenians. But the best mode yet discovered of creating a sensation, is to abuse a bishop. This evinces a vast amount of pluck, because it is always done with perfect impunity. The most advanced patriot of our day has not gone beyond that as yet. When the time comes, and when the Fenians of America land, and that revolution is actually let loose, oh ! then, indeed, the "traitors" may look out for what they got in France under Catholic Robespierre. We all know how thousands of the clergy were murdered or persecuted in France by Catholics. The same teaching in Ireland must inevitably produce the same results here. The French priests in those days were not ultramontane: they were more attached to La Belle France than to Rome, and La Belle France looked on while their blood was being most brutally shed. Let no one say that the same crime could not happen in Ireland under like circumstances. Let no one assert that public opinion could not be corrupted here by infidel teaching. It could; and it would appear that it is on the march, for, otherwise, brazen calumnies on bishops and the clergy would never be tolerated by such generous people as the Irish.

It was said by a Pagan philosopher of Greece, that the best constituted community is that in which an insult to the meanest subject is looked upon as an outrage on the whole nation. If such were the opinion of the Pagans how much has our poor country fallen below his standard? Ireland listens with cold indifference - for years - to cowardly calumnies upon her prelates, and this has happened not once, nor twice, but too often, at public meetings. "If an enemy had done this" our pride might resent it, but it is lamentable and even dreadful to see it happen in Ireland, for it bodes no good for religion or country. The demon spirit of defiance to, and contempt for ecclesiastical authority leads slowly but inevitably to infidelity. The unhappy man who is imbued with its poison will strive to transmit it to his progeny, for, unfortunately, there is no missioner so indefatigable and persevering as the infidel.

I write this letter with pain and sorrow; for though it is dictated in a spirit of peace and love, I know that he who countenances an insult to a bishop will spurn with contempt the opinion and advice of any layman who is not of his own faction; but as the appeal had been made to us, every Catholic is called on to speak up. If I have given offence to any one in the discharge of a duty, I regret it. - I remain, sir, faithfully yours,

Earlsrath, Oct. 28, 1864

The Waterford News, 4 November 1864
From the long letter by John Carroll of Earlsrath, you would have thought that Michael Considine had just kicked off in Ireland the equivalent of the French Revolution by criticizing Archbishop Cullen. I also found it interesting that, as early as 1864, the threat of a Fenian invasion from America was being discussed. It would be easy to describe their debate as one between a staunch Nationalist (Michael Considine) and a staunch Catholic (John Carroll), but I'm not sure about this. Like Michael Considine, John Carroll is prominently mentioned in a doctoral thesis, "The Hylands of Clonmoran, an Enterprising Catholic Family in County Kilkenny, 1816 - 1917", by Richard John Bosco Hyland (Maynooth University, October 2014):

http://mural.maynoothuniversity.ie/9123 ... NMORAN.pdf
John Carroll (c.1809-1886) is still remembered in Mullinavat as a tenant-right leader and a controversial figure who donated a portion of his land for the foundation of the Holy Faith Convent there. At the time of Griffith’s Valuation (1850) he was in the possession of 160 acres of Ballyluskey from Joshua Anderson of Grace Dieu, Waterford and had the middleman interest in a further 158 acres there. In the wake of one incident, probably concerning the subject of the new convent, folklore has it that, it was said by the parish priest, with whom there was ill-feeling, that he would be ‘unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung'. He died in 1886. . . .(pages 250-251)
Elsewhere in the thesis, John Carroll's politics are mentioned, but even here he was described as "above all extremely religious" (pg 265). But like Michael Considine, John Carroll had his own squabbles with a Catholic priest. For the parish priest to state that John Carroll would be "unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung", I reckon, was very unkind. From the footnotes we learn that this quote is from the poem "My Native Land" by Sir Walter Scott. Upon his death, the Freeman's Journal of 18 May 1886 published a most brief obituary "CARROLL - May 14, 1886, at Earlsrath, John Carroll, Esq. R I P." This is in sharp contrast to the long 1884 obituary for Michael Considine on the first page of this thread which stated, "The shops were shut, the whole town turned out, the Parnell Escort Band (Newmarket-on-Fergus), the Ennis Mechanics' Brass Band, and the Ennis Temperance Fife and Drum Band, with draped colors, played the 'Dead March,' while the procession wound its solemn length to the grave in the Old Abbey. The bells of the Catholic and Protestant churches tolled his dirge, while that of Ennis Abbey, which has not been heard, and certainly has not tolled for a Catholic for many generations, rang out at intervals until the last shovel full of clay was thrown upon his coffin."

Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:07 am

Hi Sheila,

Michael Considine wrote a letter to the editor of the Limerick Reporter that was published on "the 14th" (October 1864, most likely; republished in the Waterford News on the 4th of November) defending his attendance at the meeting of Nationalist supports of Father Lavelle in Dublin on the 23rd of August 1864. Prior to John Carroll of Earlsrath's counter-counter-attack, Michael Considine received a letter of support from the Rev. Kenny, parish priest of Liscannor. This letter was initially published in the Clare Freeman, along with their introduction, sometime in October 1864. It was then widely republished in newspapers across Britain since the topic, the loyalty of Catholics to the throne, was being hotly debated throughout the summer and early autumn of 1864 in the British newspapers:
A LOYAL PRIEST.- We commend to the attentive perusal of Lord Arundell and Bishop Goss, and all others who have been lately endeavoring to make the people of England believe that loyalty to the throne, submission to the law, obedience to the ruling powers, is, and has always been, inculcated by the Church of Rome, the following sentiments from a priest of this country, the Rev. Mr. Kenny, parish priest of Liscannor, in a letter addressed this week to one our townsmen, Mr. Michael Considine: -

"Would to God there were 40,000 such men as you in Ireland to-day, and soon certain flags should cease to flutter in an Irish breeze, certain tyrants should bite the dust, and certain Whigs, with their abettors and supporters, fly to the mountain to avoid the avenging power of an outraged people. But, sir, there are 40,000 — aye, 100,000 — men in Ireland to-day who profess the same political creed as you do, who scout all platform bosh, who reject the old swindling system, who read the history of the past with profit, and with the prudence of real patriots await in silence the first sound of the tocsin. — Clare Freeman.

The Guardian, London, 26 October 1864
Bishop Alexander Goss (1814 - 1872) was the Catholic Bishop of Liverpool. Lord Arundell was a Catholic MP, whose family was of Norman origin that went way back; his first name is not reported, but I reckon he was John Francis Arundell, the 12th Baron of Wardour (1831 - 1906). Both Bishop Goss and Lord Arundell had argued in the press that Catholics in England were loyal to the throne, which led to many counter arguments back and forth in the press. The Clare Freeman article was picked up widely by the British press because clearly Father Kenny was an example of a Catholic Priest who was not loyal to the British throne. The title "A Loyal Priest" used by British newspapers was being sarcastic. The Irish People had the title "An Outspoken Priest" and perhaps this was the same title at the Clare Freeman.

"The Rev. Mr. Kenny, parish priest of Liscannor" is neither of the two Kenny priests already mentioned in this thread by Murf. I only know this since an 1861 article mentioned three separate Kenny priests: Very Rev. J. Kenny, PP, VG of Ennis (later "Dean Kenny"); Rev. Matthew (M.J.) Kenny, CC of Ennis; and Rev J Kenny of Liscannor.

Not sure what happened to the Rev J Kenny of Liscannor; he appears to have been transferred out of Liscannor? Also have to wonder how the Rev J Kenny's letter to Michael Considine was published in the Clare Freeman? Did Father Kenny approve of the letter being published? Did the letter, once widely published throughout Britain, get him into any trouble with Archbishop Cullen of Dublin?

Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:19 am

Hi Jim

I’m not fighting “until the end” – just expressing my own opinion and happy to agree to differ!

Thanks for the letter written by Mr. J. Carroll. I agree it’s interesting that the threat of a Fenian invasion from America was being discussed in 1864. R.V. Comerford in his book, The Fenians in Context: Irish Politics & Society 1848-82, (1998), says that from what we know of Archbishop Cullen, the spread of fenianism by 1865 would have aroused in him an abhorrence of popular politics of any kind. He goes on,
Even before this fenianism may have been having the effect of rendering a large proportion of the population wary of politics. The Irish People liked to claim that people had lost faith in elections, parliaments and petitions and that this had happened because of a widespread acceptance of fenian ideas. Notwithstanding the obvious popular enthusiasm for the O’Connell monument demonstration in August, even Archbishop Leahy admitted that on a few occasions during 1864 it was nearly impossible to arouse interest in his petition campaigns on current issues. This was accentuated during 1865. Fenianism was at the root of it, but not for the reason the Irish People advanced. Throughout most of 1864 and all of 1865 normal political activity was paralysed by fenianism as by a spectre. The belief that they had in their midst a secret revolutionary army of unknown strength (with powerful allies across the Atlantic) about to throw the country into indescribable turmoil left most of the inhabitants of Ireland without any stomach for politics. (pp. 108-9).
Thanks also for the newspaper report on the letter from Rev. Mr. Kenny, P.P., Liscannor. He speaks disparagingly of “certain Whigs, with their abettors and supporters”. Comerford says that, by 1864, a decade of reliance on the Whigs had failed. When a new national association was formed in December 1864 (condoned by Archbishop Cullen as an outlet for those nationalists who did not espouse violence), an invitation to join was sent to Archbishop McHale.
He replied with a stinging attack on those who had betrayed the similar movement of 1852 – obviously referring to Cullen – and a bitter refusal to co-operate with such people in the new venture. (p.106).
Although this new National Association was not established until December 1864, it’s clear from Fr. Kenny’s letter, written in October, that there was already a split in allegiances.

Now the following may not be of much interest to you, but might be of interest to someone: I’ve been wondering just where in the centre of Ennis Michael Considine had his newsagency. I’m supposing he is the Michael Considine shown in Griffith’s Valuation (1856) as occupying lot 10 in High Street (as a tenant of Patrick Barry). At the time of Griffith’s Valuation, High Street, and the lanes behind it, on the south bank of the river Fergus, were not yet connected by a broad street and bridge to the area on the north side of the river, later called Bank Place. When that connection was made, the whole of the street from Bank Place to the square (High street, or “The Height”) was called Bank Place. So Michael Considine’s new address was Bank Place.
Michael died in 1884, so when Guy’s Directory for Ennis, 1893, lists a M. Considine as newsagent in Bank st., and a M. Considine as a Painter and Decorator in Bank place, I think both M. Considines must be one and the same person, i.e. the nephew of Michael Considine, who was also called Michael Considine and who lived 1843-1924: http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclar ... chants.htm
This Michael Considine (1843-1924) was living in Brewery Lane in 1901 and 1911, and died there on 21 May 1924. He may not have lived there at first. The baptism of his sister, Catherine, in 1852, gives the address as “Slipway”, but I think this might be just another name for the river end of Brewery Lane*. Brewery Lane was a continuation of Hunt’s Lane. It ended at the south bank of river Fergus. What remained of Brewery Lane, and all the other lanes near the river, was converted to a car park in the late 20th century, but Hunt’s lane and the other lanes closer to Abbey Street are still there. Hunt’s Lane goes from the present day O’Connell bar to the carpark.
*A 1930 photograph of Walter Arthur’s Quay, which was at the end of Brewery Lane, is shown on page 21 of Irish Historic Towns Atlas: Ennis, by Brian Ó Dálaigh. I imagine the photo was taken by someone standing on the Bank Place bridge (called Carroll’s bridge):
https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/asse ... s_Text.pdf

It seems that this Michael Considine (1843-1924) inherited the newsagency business from his uncle and combined it with his work as a painter right up to the time of his death. According to Seán Spellissy in The Merchants of Ennis,
In 1824, Martin Considine was a bookseller and binder in Church Street; Michael Considine was a tallow chandler in High Street; and two John Considines, one listed as John Junior, were tobacconists in High Street.
In 1846, only one John Considine was tobacconist in High Street. In 1856 John Considine and Son were tobacconists in High Street; Daniel Considine and Michael Considine were boot and shoe makers in Market Street and High Street, respectively….
In 1875 and 1886… J. Considine and Sons were booksellers in O’Connell Square; M. Considine was a newsagent in Bank Street….
In 1893, M. Considine was a proprietor of a newsagents in Bank Street… M. Considinne was a painter and decorator in Bank Place…
In 1901…M. Considine was a stationer and newsagent in Bank Place…
In 1912… M. Considine was a stationer and newsagent in Bank Place…
In 1925…M. Considine of Bank Place was a bookseller… (p. 46).
Bindon Street and Bank Place, by Lucille Ellis (published by Clare Roots Society, 2015), is a most interesting book, but I was beginning to despair of finding any mention of Michael Considine’s house when I came at last to a paragraph, on page 55, headed “The rest of Bank Place”. Here the author says that there is much confusion between the censuses and the Valuation books as to which houses are in Bank Place and which in High Street. She continues,
There were two houses listed as Bank Place in 1883, Michael Considine in one of low value and John G. O’Dwyer with a £15 house and £5 office. Meanwhile the Bank of Ireland was listed as being on High Street. John G. O’Dwyer’s family had had a drapery shop in High Street for many years and he appears to have moved to the new premises in Bank Place, and these premises were then taken by Michael Kennedy in 1894. In 1928 Kennedy combined two houses together and it is listed as ‘House and Shop’ with a Rateable Value of £95 in 1930. … Kennedys became one of the biggest drapery shops in Ennis; later taken over by Cannocks
A photograph taken about 2015 shows these new premises as it is at present (with Café Aroma in the middle). Ellis says that it was built about the 1890s and comprised, at first, three or four houses. I think they were probably very expensive houses at the time. Ellis does not say who lived in which house, but it’s clear from the above that John G. O’Dwyer took at least one of the houses for his new drapery shop.

Where in Bank Place Michael Considine’s nephew (M. Considine) could have continued the newsagency is a mystery. I thought at first that the Bank of Ireland on the opposite corner (now the Carraig Donn shop) might have replaced the newsagency (and other houses) but that bank was already built in 1875 (see p. 20 of Irish Historic Towns Atlas: Ennis). Maybe the newsagency was nearer to the Bank Place bridge, in which case it would have been very close to Friary Lane, which led from there to the middle of Brewery Lane (and now leads to the car park). Someone might be able to put me right.

If any trace of the newsagency shop survived until the car park was built, it was probably barely noticeable. By the end of the 19th century, it would already have looked out of place - Bank Place was by then the most “respectable” part of Ennis.


Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:02 am

Hi Sheila,

My apologies, as no offense meant, "fight until the end" etc are lyrics from a Notre Dame football fight song. I should have known that living in Ireland you would not have been familiar with the song:


And thanks very much for the added information on Michael Considine as I did find this very interesting. The name "Michael Considine" was fairly common in Ennis and it can be difficult to keep track of who is who. I'm going to throw another Michael Considine who was also a newsagent into the mix.

The "John Considine" that you referenced directory listings from 1824 to 1886, must somehow include the John Considine who was married to Mary McGrath, and had two children in the Ennis baptism records: (1) Michael, 21 April 1845 and (2) Bridget, 4 August 1847. They could have had other children, including another son, born prior to the start of the Ennis parish baptism records in 1841.

(Given the high mortality rates during this period, especially in child birth, I reckon that Mary McGrath Considine may have died, and John Considine could have married Bridget Lynch in Ennis on 14 November 1848; and had one daughter Mary on 1 October 1849. Just a possibility, of course.)

On page 1 of this thread, I mentioned a recurring newspaper advertisement in The Freeman's Journal that ran from 1861 through 1866, specifically through 12 November 1866:
Mr. MICHAEL CONSIDINE, News Agent, can supply
the FREEMAN'S JOURNAL daily on the arrival of the Three
o'clock trains.
Then starting on 12 December 1866, the advertisement read as follows:
Messrs. JOHN CONSIDINE and SONS, News Agents,
can supply the FREEMAN'S JOURNAL daily on the arrival
of the Three o'clock trains.
I am certain that the above advertisement relates to the John Considine family mentioned above, because it would run in the Freeman's Journal for over one decade, ending on 12 October 1878. And coincidentally two months prior to its ending, a Michael Considine, of Brewery Lane, bachelor, age 34 years, occupation "porter", died on 7 August 1878; informant Bridget McGrath, present at death on Brewery Lane. This Michael must be the son of John Considine who was born in April 1845. And soon after his death, the Freeman's Journal found another newsagent to distribute their newspaper. The occupation of "porter" does not agree, but not sure selling the Freeman's Journal that arrived at 3 pm would be a full time job.

Whether or not this means that Michael Considine, the shoemaker/newsagent, was a relative to John Considine, newsagent, is still uncertain. We do know that Michael Considine was a brother to Joseph Considine (father of Michael Considine, 1843 - 1924). Both John Considine and Joseph Considine named sons Michael, although not certain that Michael, son of John Considine, was a first born son. Not sure when John Considine died. I wonder if Michael Considine (1843 - 1924) inherited the news agency from his uncle Michael Considine, as you suggested, or did he have another uncle named John Considine?

Michael Considine, the shoemaker, died in 1884 at the age of 72. So in 1866, he was only about 54 years old. Seems fairly young to give up work completely, but in 1865 a "Testimonial" was created for that distinct purpose. When the O'Connell Monument was finally unveiled on 5th of October 1865, Michael Considine was on the platform, but unfortunately, his address was not reported in the Freeman's Journal. The Rev. Patrick Quaid, P P, O'Callaghan Mills gave a speech at the O'Connell Monument unveiling that was "lengthened, eloquent, instructive, and forcibly addressed to the feelings of the parish." Then about one week later, the Rev. Patrick Quaid attended a deputation of the trades and supported creating a suitable Testimonial for Michael Considine that would put him "in a position of comparative independence all the rest of his life." Perhaps that is why one year later, Michael Considine was no longer the official distributor of the Freeman's Journal arriving on the 3 pm train into Ennis?
TESTIMONIAL TO MR. MICHAEL CONSIDINE — On Sunday last a deputation of the trades waited on the Rev P Quaid, P P, O'Callaghan's Mills, after he preached an able and excellent sermon in the Roman Catholic Chapel of this town, in aid of the schools of the Christian Brothers, Ennis, to present him with an address, thanking him for the part he took in the O'Connell statue, in Ennis, to which the reverend gentleman made a suitable reply. Reference was also made to Mr. Michael Considine, to whom the original idea of having the statue erected where it now stands was altogether owing, and to the indefatigable zeal he manifested in the work until its completion. The Rev Mr Quaid expressed his full concurrence in the proposed intention of raising a suitable testimonial to Mr. Considine, and that he would do all in his power to promote so laudable an object, and he hoped his countrymen, who owed him so much, would prove their gratitude by their liberal subscriptions, so that, in a short time, they would place "honest Michael Considine in a position of comparative independence all the rest of his life." The rev gentleman has, furthermore, consented at a suggestion of Sir Colman O'Loghlen, to act as treasurer to the Testimonial Fund. — Clare Journal

The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 14 October 1865

Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:44 am

Hi Jim

Michael Considine, son of John Considine, News Agent, died in 1882, according to the Calendar of Wills http://www.willcalendars.nationalarchiv ... _00078.pdf (17.04.1882: Letters of Administration of the personal estate of Michael Considine late of O’Connell-square Ennis County Clare Superannuated Officer of Ennis Jail deceased who died 7 December 1881 at the same place were granted at Limerick to John Considine of Ennis aforesaid News Agent the father). I’ve failed to find a record of the death. This Michael might indeed be one of the “Sons” in “John Considine and Sons.” But I suspect that this family did not live in Brewery Lane. I’m guessing they lived over their shop in O’Connell square.
I agree that the Michael Considine of Brewery Lane who died in 1878 must be the son of John Considine and Mary McGrath because his age at death (34) tallies with the birth in 1845. His father, John Considine, may indeed be a brother of Michael Considine (1812-1884), but I’ve found no evidence so far. I looked at the baptisms of his children: The baptism of Michael, son of John Considine and Mary McGrath, on 21.04.1845, gives no address; sponsors: Patrick Hogan and Bridget McGrath. The baptism of Bridget, daughter of John Considine and Mary McGrath, on 04.08.1847, again gives no address; sponsors: Michael McGrath, Bridget McGrath. Griffith’s Valuation doesn’t show a Considine living in Brewery Lane, but I’m sure there was a lot of unofficial sub-letting there, so some names will not have been recorded.

I’ve continued my musings about where Michael Considine might have lived. Here is what I am thinking about Bank Place: before the bridge was built this area would have been on the same level as the present day car park on one side and the open grassy area on the other side. A lane ran along the river bank called Friary Lane. The whole area was prone to flooding in winter. There was a piece of high ground to the south, i.e. High Street, with lanes running down from it to Friary Lane, and a piece of high ground on the other side of the river where the Georgian Houses of Bindon Street were built in late 18th century. Lucille Ellis writes,
In the summer of 1855 a Presentament was made to the Clare Grand Jury to build a new road between Mr. William Kean’s house in Bindon Street (No 6) and the end of Bow Lane in High Street, including a new bridge. Reporting in February 1862, the Clare Freeman said that William Carroll had finished the bridge and that the Grand Jury had decided to test the structure by allowing th cars carrying stones for the National Bank, then under construction, to cross the bridge. It appears to have passed the test but, in Frebruary 1865, the Freeman reported that in the January frost the bridge had fallen three inches. In April 1866 the Limerick Chronicle reported that at the Spring Assizes £2,000 was granted “to erect an iron superstructure to be placed on the present abutments of the bridge” (p. 52).
This metal bridge was later changed to the present day concrete bridge, Carroll’s Bridge. I think that when the metal bridge was being put in place the ground on either side was raised very much, and that the roofs of any nearby houses that remained intact were barely above the level of the new street. Friary Lane was also raised at some point, but I don’t know if it was raised when the metal bridge was put in place, or sometime later. One of the lanes affected by the broadening of the street leading from the bridge to High Street (or “The Height”) was Parson’s Lane. In the paragraph headed “The rest of Bank Place”, Ellis says,
Between 1870 and 1873 Parsons Lane was renamed as Bank Place in the Valuation Office books and between then and 1883 five houses appear to have been demolished” (p. 55)
Michael Considine’s house survived, but must have been somewhat out of line with the level of the street. This is just fanciful speculation, but I wonder if a top story was still facing Bank Place, while ground floor was on a level with Brewery Lane. In other words, was there a front facing on to Bank Place and a back facing on to Brewery Lane, and were Michael Considine and his nephew, Michael, both living in the same house? Just a thought.
Up to now I was looking at maps and at the 1960 ariel-view photo of Ennis included in the Irish Historic Towns Atlas: Ennis, by Brian Ó Dálaigh, but then I realised I could do a virtual walk through Ennis using Google maps. And I can see that Easons bookshop on Bank Place is a very new building, and when you look down from the bridge now all you can see is the side of that shop (where Walter Arthur's quay was in 1930).

Going back to Considines living in Brewery Lane: The 1901 census shows two Considine families there, but one of these were newcomers from the country: Michael Considine and Anne Fox had married in 1878. This Michael was a car owner and belonged to the Considines of Kilgobbin, Clooney (originally from Kilnamona; their burial place: Kilcross graveyard). I don't think there is any connection between these Considines and the Considines who were related to Michael.

Thanks Jim for the report on the Testimonial to Michael Considine. I think it might have been proposed because of his financial circumstances rather than because of his age. When it became known in 1883 that Parnell was in financial difficulties, a Testimonial was made to him.


Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:06 am

Hi Sheila,

Thanks very much, your adding another Michael Considine of Ennis into the mix has led me to change a few assumptions that I was "certain" about.

The Michael Considine, son of newsagent John Considine, that you provided a link to the 1882 will record for, has the following death record (per irishgenealogy.ie website):

Michael Considine, age 49 years old, bachelor, shopkeeper, died on 7 December 1881, in Ennis; informant John Cullinan, coroner.

So, this Michael Considine was born about 1832, prior to the Ennis baptism records. His father, John Considine, who was still alive in April 1882 per his son's probate, would have been born prior to around 1812. A John Considine, widower, age 100, died on 16 May 1898 and would meet this criteria. He died at the Ennis workhouse, but it also stated that he was from "Cragleigh", about 3 miles to the west of Ennis town - perhaps when in old age he had been living with a relative prior to entering the workhouse/hospital? Another John Considine, died in Ennis in 1898 at the age of 88, but he was a bachelor.

Since John Considine had "Sons", he might have had younger children recorded in the Ennis baptism register besides his son Michal born in 1832. But here again, there are multiple possibilities. (1) John Considine and Bridget Meese baptized a son Patrick Considine on 10 October 1842. (2) John Considine and Bridget Tully baptized (a) son Patrick Considine on 24 February 1843, and (b) John Considine on 27 August 1846.

Either of the above two John Considine families would be a good match for the John Considine reported in the Ennis directories: In 1846, "John Considine" was a tobacconist on High Street, with no mention of young sons. In 1856, "John Considine and Son", included son Michael born around 1832, but other children were still too young to work at the shop. In 1875, "John Considine and Sons" includes his younger son(s) born in the 1840's. Only a theory, of course.

Although not clear who John Considine was married to, I now believe that the advertisement in the Freeman's Journal that ran from 1866 to 1878 was most likely related to "John Considine and Sons", the booksellers of O'Connell Square. And unlikely to be associated with the Michael Considine, porter, son of John Considine and Mary McGrath, who lived on Brewery Lane, and died in 1878. Whether either family are related to the shoemaker Michael Considine (1812 - 1884), has not been proven.

Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:22 am

Hi Jim

No, the John Considine who died aged 100 in 1898 was from the townland of Cragleigh, which is on the Ennistymon Road from Ennis. He seems to have lived in the adjacent townland of Kilquane at first. He was married to Mary Considine (Considine was her maiden name) and although Kilquane is in Drumcliff parish, their children were baptised in Kilmaley parish. The baptisms of the children begin at 1863, so the marriage of John and Mary will not have been registered. The address for two of the children is Kilquane and the address for two others is Cragleigh. Kilquane townland is mainly on the southside of that road, but has an arm that juts into the townland of Cragleigh on the other side of the road. Griffith’s Valuation shows a Michael Considine leasing lot 3 in that "arm" of Kilquane (Considine was a common name around there so maybe Michael was not the father of John).
Anyway, in 1901, the Considines' address is Cragleagh; Mary is aged 50, a widow, and her sons Michael (Horse trainer), aged 29, and James (Coachman), aged 20, are living with her. James was born 02.02.1878 in Kilquan. His father’s (John) occupation is Workman. I don’t see this family in either Kilquane, or Cragleagh in 1911. The house that I figured might have been their house at the side of the road (not far from the ‘M’ of Drumcliff in the 1842 map) is not there in the later map (you need to go to Geohive maps). I have a vague memory of seeing a newspaper report remarking on the great age that John Considine had reached when he died in 1898.

So, it’s back to the drawing board with John Considine and Sons, Newsagents, O’Connell square.

In the meantime I think I found the John Considine (who was married to Mary McGrath) in Griffith’s Valuation. Most of the centre of Ennis is situated in the townland of Clonroad Beg (in Drumcliff parish). If you go to Research Support on the Genealogy homepage and to Civil Parishes and to Drumcliff parish, you will see that Clonroad Beg is townland No. 8, and that most of Drumcliff parish is to the west of the town. When you click on Clonroad Beg you will see that all the lanes are listed, plus the external link (askaboutireland.ie) for each one (the work of some angel): http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclar ... ad_beg.htm. Looking at Friary Lane (which meets Brewery Lane), you will see that there’s a John Considine in lot 5. It’s just an Office and yard, but he also has a house, lot 8, which he seems to be sub-letting to Margaret Shaughnessy. By the way, when looking at the valuation given for a building in Griffith's, it’s important to understand that the Valuation officers did not confine value of a building to the actual building itself, but also to the amount of rent that it attracted, plus other factors including proximity to market. So a house in the town valued at £2.5s. might not be at all as substantial as one in a rural area valued at the same amount.

Yesterday, I looked through A Broad History of a Narrow Street: Abbey Street - Ennis, by Brian Spring, (terrific amount of research and lots of great pictures), published by Clare Roots Society, 2013. I was hoping that there might be something on the lanes behind that street (called Church street until 1913). But, really, I know that would entail a lifetime's work in itself. There is a passing mention of Michael Considine plus the photo that Larry Brennan includes in the Clare Champion article (see first posting on this thread). And there are some mentions of Brewery Lane, including that the old brewery was used as an auxillary workhouse during the Great Famine, which is interesting, but nothing on the people who lived there.

Looking at Friary Lane in Griffith’s “Original Page” (i.e. details of each tenement), I noticed that the old Francisan Friary Chapel was still there at that time (not to be confused with the Abbey). It was at the other side of the bridge from Walter Arthur’s Quay (in the 1930s photo). If you go down the lane that goes by the present day A.I.B. bank, you will be near the site of that chapel. I don’t know when it was demolished. The houses on both sides, in Griffith’s list, are already in ruins. I looked at Bow-Lane too – this led from High Street back to Friary Lane and to where the bridge was built – and I noticed that most of the lots are described as ruins, and any remaining houses are described as dilapidated. So it seems Bow-Lane was getting ready to be demolished, and this ties in with what Lucille Ellis says,
In the summer of 1855 a Presentament was made to the Clare Grand Jury to build a new road between Mr. William Kean’s house in Bindon Street (No 6) and the end of Bow Lane in High Street, including a new bridge.

Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:59 am

Hi Sheila,

The John Considine of Cragleigh, who died in 1898 at the age of 100, if he was indeed married to Mary Considine, as your research has suggested, he would have been about 40 years older than his wife. The baptisms of their children were recorded from 1863 through 1878. So John Considine would have been age 65 through 80 years old? Possible, of course, but wouldn't it be more likely that the John Considine who died in 1898 was the grandfather of those children? Plus, the John Considine who died in 1898 was a widower, and thus not married to Mary Considine who was still living at the 1901 census. Mary's age of 50 in 1901, was clearly understated considering she had a child in 1863 - I reckon she was born closer to 1840.

The John Considine who was a shopkeeper in Ennis, and the father of Michael Considine who died in 1881, appears likely to have been the John Considine, "highly respectable shopkeeper", who played a key role back in 1844 at a not very well known event in County Clare history:

Ennis, Monday

The "button" campaign bids fair for a brisk continuance. The Tory party in all parts of the country, it appears, have "caught up the fire" from the Solons of the Castle — they are girding, as it were, their loins for battle, and sounding the key note for preparation, "war to the knife." The hereditary, high, and holy hatred of every thing noble and liberal which oppresses the faction was never so fully illustrated as in this town on Saturday last. It has been happily said of certain insects —

"One scarce would know they live but that they bite," and "by'r lady" of the wisdom of that saw the De Greyites are a strong illustration. Rivalling the turkey-cock in his aversion to scarlet, they seem inspired with a most magnificent detestation of all hues and all badges save the faded and fallen Orange, and with a consistency quite commendable they level the artillery of their fierce and withering hatred ! — save the mark — against offending bits of brass,

On Saturday, Mr. John Considine, a highly respectable shopkeeper, and vice-president of the Temperance Society, went on the part of that body to make a lodgment in the Ennis Savings Bank. Mr. Considine exhibited on his breast the national badge, which no sooner met the eye of Mr. Thomas Mahon, one of the directors of the establishment, than an immediate order was given to have it withdrawn! Now Mr. Mahon, though in private life is acknowledged to be a gentleman of most estimable character, has long been celebrated for his hostility to the religion and liberties of the people, and Mr. Considine being, on the contrary, a staunch Repealer, refused in a most praiseworthy manner to comply with this strange and arbitrary order, whereupon

Mr. Mahon said — I say, Sir, you should not have dared to enter this office with your rebel badge, and you must withdraw it.

Mr. Considine — Well, Sir, I must respectfully decline to do so. I do not consider the button a rebel badge; it is a Repeal button, and —

Mr. Mahon — The Repealers are rebels — they are common disturbers of the Queen's peace, and I cannot permit such a thing in a government office.

The altercation continued for some time. The order was frequently repeated, and as frequently refused to be complied with. The passion of the jealous preserver of the Queen's throne and dignity at length became uncontrollable, and in a voice nearly inaudible from rage he threatened to tear up the bank book, if the Repealer or the Repealer's button were longer suffered to pollute his presence. Mr. Considine, however, remained until his business was transacted, and then retired with a low bow.

The above circumstance is much talked of, and caused considerable indignation amongst the well-judging individuals, even amongst those conscientiously opposed to Repeal.

The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 17 July 1844
In 1844, John Considine was attempting to make a lodgment (a deposit) at the Ennis Savings Bank for the Ennis Temperance Society, for which he was the vice president. The 1884 obituary (see page 1) for the shoemaker Michael Considine stated "he was a total abstainer; having taken the pledge from Father Mathew, he observed it unbroken all his life." Both John Considine and Michael Considine were abstainers from alcohol, active in the Repeal movement, strong personalities, news agents for the Freeman's Journal, and likely had a father named Michael Considine. But were they brothers?

The shoemaker Michael Considine died on 23 April 1884 and has a corresponding death record. The shopkeeper John Considine, who had a son Michael born about 1832, was still alive when that son died on 7 December 1881 as well as at his probate in April 1882. But where is the death record for this John Considine?

"The Button Warfare" of 1844 appears to have gone missing from Irish history. Although, there was an Irish film called "The War of the Buttons", released in 1994, which, from the title, sounds like it might have some connection to these events, and possibly even be timed for its 150 year anniversary?

Here is more on Father Theobald Mathew (1790 - 1856) from whom Michael Considine took the abstinence pledge:

Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:13 am

Hi Jim

Yes, you are right about John Considine of Cragleigh who died aged 100 in 1898. He’s not the husband of Mary aged 50 (but closer to 60) in the 1901 census. I had filed away that family and now I must take it out again and remove him. Where to put him is another question, but I suspect he is not John Considine the Newsagent.

The newspaper report on the Repeal Button is very interesting (I wonder if “button warfare” referred to taking buttons from the uniforms of dead enemy soldiers to keep as trophies, which in time came to be associated with pettiness). I think you make a good case for that John being a brother of Michael. For some reason I’d imagined that John (the Newsagent) was on a different level, socially, from Michael Considine (of "the wretched little shop in a trumpery cabin") – maybe John's son having a position at Ennis jail suggested a connection with somebody of influence. But even if on different levels socially, they could still be brothers of course. As you say, John’s death does not seem to have been registered (neither was the death of John Considine, husband of Mary Considine from Cragleigh).

If John the Newsagent is a brother of Michael, then John married to Mary McGrath is not his brother. And of course the tenant of property in Brewery Lane (lot 5: Offices and Yard, and lot 8: House let to Margaret Shaughnessy) might not be John married to Mary McGrath. It’s possible that property was being leased and sub-let by John the Newsagent - or some other John. Griffith’s Valuation shows several John Considines in the parish of Drumcliff. There’s a John Considine who is tenant of lot 5 (House, offices and yard) in High-Street (valued at £19.0s), who might be John the Newsagent, but then again he might be some other John Considine, maybe John Considine who polluted the Ennis Savings Bank by wearing a Repeal Button. Jim, I think it’s going to be nigh impossible to establish relationships with so many Considines and so few records.


Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:00 am

Hi Sheila,

Yes, indeed, there were many John Considine's in County Clare. In the civil birth records for Ennis District, John Considine and Mary Considine, of Kilquane, registered their son James Considine, born on 14 February 1878. Also in Ennis District, John Considine and Hannah Considine (also her maiden name), of Carhue, registered their son James Considine, born on 12 February 1878 — just two days earlier.

I agree that John Considine, the news agent and shopkeeper, was unlikely the 100 year old laborer who had lived in Cragleigh prior to the entering the Ennis workhouse where he died in 1898.

In 1841, a John Considine was listed as one of the Repeal wardens for Ennis. Most likely he is the same John Considine, a "staunch Repealer", who wore the Repeal button when making a deposit at the Ennis Savings Bank in 1844. In the Repeal Movement of the early 1840's it appears that newsagent John Considine played a larger role than shoemaker Michael Considine.
. . . . Mr. Ray next read the following letter from Mr. Thomas Reynolds:—

Ennis, 29th April 1841.
Dear Ray — Annexed you have the names of twenty-two of the Catholic clergy of this diocese, who are determined to co-operate with the countrymen in their peaceable efforts to obtain for Ireland a national parliament. I also send you the names and subscriptions, 10l, of other respectable inhabitants of this town, who are resolved to use their influence for the attainment of the same indispensable measure. You have also the name and address of wardens from various localities in this county. You will, of course, have all proposed members and published. —I am, very truly yours, THOMAS REYNOLDS

T.M.Ray, Esq,

Mr. Reynolds encloses the following list of repeal wardens — viz, for

Ennis — Rev Patrick Hennessy, Rev P M'Mahon, Rev T Mahoney, and Messrs Charles O'Connell, Cornelius Hickey, Michael Gregg, John Connellan, Henry Kitson, John Considine, and William Lardner, jun.

Tulla Town and Parish — Rev Patrick Sheehy, P P; Rev John Hastings, CC; Rev Michael Dynan, C C; Messrs John Rochford, Francis Costelloe, Thomas Kennedy, Patrick Linane, John Redan, Michael Brody, jun; Stephen Martin, and Patrick Lee.

Parish of and town of Gort, county Galway — Rev Patrick Fallon, P P, and Messrs Patrick Glinn, jun, James Quinn, Michael Kane, John M'Namara, and Thomas Boland.

Parish and town of Quinn — Rev Daniel Corbet, PP, Michael Quinlivan, James Quinlivan, Thomas Corbet, F M'Mahon, James Daffey and J Hallaran.

Parish and town of Crusheen —Rev James Keade, P P, and Messrs Thomas Kennedy and Daniel Hare.

Parish of Doora, Ennis — Rev Edward Tamplin, C C, and Messrs Daniel O'Connell and Edward Falvey.

. . . . Mr. Stritch proposed the admission of those gentlemen as Repeal Wardens, forwarded by Mr. Reynolds, and the motion being seconded, passed unanimously. . . .

The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 4 March 1841
And skipping forward two decades, John Considine & Sons, "a very extensive newspaper agency," was mentioned in September 1865 as being located on High Street, same as per the 1846 Ennis directory. In the 1875 directory, John Considine & Sons was located at O'Connell Square. Did they change locations? Or was their address on High Street changed to O'Connell Square, perhaps with the unveiling of the O'Connell Monument in October 1865?

The constabulary of this town having received instructions from headquarters to seize all copies of the Irish People that were publicly exposed, for sale or otherwise, proceeded to the railway station of this town on Friday evening, at which time the parcels of the Dublin weekly journals generally arrive, but, singular to say, they did not come in the customary manner on this particular evening. Head-Constable M'Loughlin, with Constable Alexander and another member of the force, again attended at the station next morning, and awaited the arrival of the 11:15 A.M. train, but on its arrival the messenger from the agent specially appointed for the sale of it was told the parcel did not come. The police then went away, but in a short time afterwards the parcel was discovered along with others in the guard's van, and was sent with other newspaper parcels to the agent, Mr. P. Byrne, of Jail Street. The head-constable, hearing they had arrived in this manner, proceeded to the agent's house, and, finding a dozen of them exposed for sale, at once laid hands on them, and took them away. He also proceeded to the establishment of Messrs. John Considine & Sons, High Street, who carry on a very extensive newspaper agency, and there found seven copies, which were forwarded to them through the extensive and respectable firm of Smith & Sons, news agents, Dublin and London, which the head-constable also seized. Those effective seizures on the part of our efficient head-constable prevented the rebel politicians of our town from perusing the pernicious columns of an organ which is now happily defunct. It is needless to add that the news agents above referred to had no object in view in disposing of this paper but the ordinary one of traffic.

Belfast News-Letter, 21 September 1865

Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:48 am

Hi Jim

Thank you for that very interesting posting. Yes, I agree that John Considine the Repeal Warden was most likely the John Considine who wore the Repeal Button in 1844. As you say, Michael Considine does not seem to have entered the scene as yet. But I’m sure both he and all the Repeal Wardens were at the Repeal Meeting in Ballycorree, 1843, which was addressed by Daniel O’Connell. Kieran Sheedy says the Trades wearing silk and satin sashes marched to meet Daniel O’Connell when he was arriving to the monster Repeal meeting in Ballycorree racecourse (outside Ennis) in 1843 (the same year that Prime Minister Peel was authorized by Queen Victoria to confirm her support for the Union).
They marched in their traditional order of Labourers, Nailers, Shoemakers, Carpenters, Painters, Sawyers, Slaters, Masons, Tailors, Smiths, Broguemakers, Bakers and finally the formidable Butchers.
(The Clare Elections, by Kieran Sheedy, p.187).
Two decades later, in September 1865, John Considine and Sons was stocking the Irish People newspaper, so must have been in sympathy with the Fenian movement – to some extent, at least. The Irish People offices in Dublin were raided two months later (November 1865): https://www.historyireland.com/18th-19t ... uary-1866/

Yes, I would say that John Considine’s address on High Street was changed to O’Connell Square after the monument was put in place. About John Considine: you will see from the quote from The Merchants of Ennis (above) that there were two John Considines in High Street in 1824, one was John Considine and the other John Considine Jun. (Tobacconists). Looking at Pigot’s Directory, I think that these might be the proprietors of the same establishment. What do you think?: http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclar ... onists.htm. If so, then John Jun. must be the father of Michael who died in Dec. 1881, and John (sen.) must be Michael’s grandfather.

I looked through Corporation Book of Ennis, edited by Brian Ó Dálaigh, hoping to find some 18th century, or early 19th century information on the forebears of John Considine and his contemporary Considines. There are two Constantine men who figure among the burgesses: Paul Constantine gets a couple of mentions, and John Constantine (Merchant) gets several mentions (died 1774). These Constantines must have been Protestant – in order to be chosen to be a burgess, you were required to take an oath attesting to the Protestant faith and detesting the Catholic faith. The burgesses were important people in the making of rules and regulations in Ennis in the 18th century and were second only to the Provost and the Vice-Provost.

There are also a few mentions of Considins and I think these may have been closer in status to John Considine, Tobacconist:
On September 29th 1764:
in addition to the sum of six pounds fifteen shillings and two pence sterling laid in at last Saint John’s meeting for paving the street, beginning at Mrs. Kent’s and ending at Dennis Considine’s House in Mill Street (p. 208)
On December 7th 1784:
Mr Coleman O’Loughlen and Michael Considine were admitted freemen of said borough of Marcus Patterson, Esq., Provost and took the oaths accordingly (p. 259)
This shows that some Catholics were allowed to become Freemen of the borough – maybe the oath they took was one of loyalty to the crown (I need to read the book more closely).

October 22nd 1801:
We present the sum of twenty two pounds fifteen shillings sterling to be levied of the Borough of Ennis as usual and paid the treasurer and by him paid over to Charles Mahon, Esq., and Anthony O’Loughlin for repairing the west square of Harvey’s Quay, and from thence to Mathias Brennan’s timber yard, having a channel quay of thirty feet from the edge of the water; and for repairing the Widow Barrett’s Lane to the river and also repairing the lane from John Considin’s house down to the lower end of Salthouse Lane. (p. 307)
In 1804:
…Overseers for paving Salthouse Lane from John Considen’s corner down to Harvey’s Quay… (p. 319).
I was surprised, really, at how few appearances the Considines make in The Corporation Book of Ennis. At the beginning of the entry on Considines in The Merchants of Ennis, Seán Spellissy mentions that Daniel Considine, a merchant, became a Protestant in 1757, but that doesn’t seem to have given him entry into the burgesses. He also mentions a Mort Considine as being initiated as a Freemason in 1811 – he doesn’t feature in The Corporation Book either, but that book goes to 1810 only.

Jim, you mentioned James Considine, b. 1878, in Carhue, so I’m adding a few notes on the Considines of Carhue, Newmarket on Fergus, for anyone who might be interested:
02.10.1875: John Considine, aged 25, Farmer, Carhue, son of Pat Considine, Farmer, married Hannah Considine, aged 22, Ballyhennessy, daughter of Pat Considine, Farmer, in Carrigerra chapel; witnesses: Pat Clara, Anne McMahon.
Their children: Patrick b. 1876*, James b. 1878, John b. 1880, Michael b. 1881**, Laurence b. 1883***, Francis b. 1885, Daniel b. 1886, Mary b. 1888.
1892: Death of Anne Considine, Carhue, aged 74, widow of farmer; informant: Hannah Considine, daughter-in-law, Carhue.

*1901 census: Patt Considine, aged 24, servant at John Considine’s house, Stonehall (Clenagh DED).

**1901 census: Michl Considine, aged 20, staying with Patrick Considine, aged 55, relative, in Ballyhennessy (Clenagh DED).

***1901 census: Larry Considine, aged 17, servant at Patt McMahon’s house, Ballycally (Clenagh DED).


Post Reply